Good Morning. Welcome to Week 11. Last week, we went pretty deep into the Abyss and found three rookies to recommend for spot starting. All three are back in the minors after their first start, a couple before they even made their scheduled second start of the week. At least I had fun writing last week’s article, as the results were mediocre at best. Remind me again why I don’t trust rookie pitchers, especially in a ROTO League
Last week, I kinda took it on the chin again for the second week in a row. I still broke even though at 6-6 as quality starts/wins go, not bad considering that was my first week out of the first ten that I was not above .500. So, that is ten straight weeks with at least a 50% success rate on my picks. This week, there are plenty of good starts in the top end of the 50% and under group, and I still found plenty of lesser owned players in the Abyss, so hopefully you’ll have luck finding one of them if the others are already gone. There were not a ton of two-start pitchers for next week, so I again listed a few “almost” two start pitchers where one match-up is great and the other a Must-Sit.
This weekend’s project was the pool. It is 18 years old and on its 3rd pump/filter. The liner is distorted around the return inlet, so it needed a patch, and the skimmer has cracks in the plastic housing that some RTV filled in just fine. The metal pool side around that inlet is rotted through and will need some welding soon. I had to duct tape two skimmers together to make one skimmer. The ladder broke last summer but I found a duplicate in someone’s junk they had laid out by the road. Nope, not putting any more money into this money pit. A dozen or so tomato plants will look awesome there one summer in the near future.
So, I hope you took my recommendation and picked up Jason Vargas of the Mets for his start vs the Giants last week. He pitched a five hit nine inning shutout with eight K’s and one walk. Not bad for a cheap spot start. Let’s see if we can find the one pitcher who will be this week’s spot starting gem.
All ownership figures are from Fantrax. All wOBA match-ups data is courtesy of Fangraphs.
***Sort of Two-Start Pitchers***Dakota Hudson, RHSP, STL (59% owned) @ MIA TUE & @ NYM SUN: This is week eleven’s first of my new category that I started last week. The “Sort of Two Start Pitcher” He has one Fantasy Must-Start and also one Fantasy Must-Not-Start. Hudson gave up one run on five hits and four walks while striking out three over 6.1 innings in Thursday’s no-decision against the Reds. Hudson cruised through the first three innings before allowing his only run on a sacrifice fly to left field in the fourth. The 24-year-old righty has been great recently, holding opposing teams to two or fewer runs in each of his last four starts. He owns a 3.70 ERA with a [45:31] K:BB over 65.2 frames following Thursday’s quality start. The walks could eventually be a problem, but so far so good. The Marlins are hitting to a .271 wOBA and .223 BA against righties at home with a league low .100 ISO. They have been hitting well lately, but they are the Fish. The Mets, on the other hand, are hitting to a .333 wOBA at home vs righties. I’m not recommending him for that start unless he is one of your rostered SP, like he is on one of my teams, but otherwise you are on your own. Again, don’t forget, in leagues that have roster limits on SP, he is RP primary. That is very valuable over time.
Zach Plesac, RHSP, CLE (48% owned) Vs CIN WEDS: Plesac (1-1) picked up the win in Friday’s 5-2 victory over the Yankees, allowing two runs on six hits and a walk over seven innings while striking out five. The nephew of former major leaguer Dan Plesac, he came to the majors with some good MLB pedigree and plenty of fanfare. In his first 20 MLB innings he is 1-1 with a 14/3 K/BB, and he’lll take a 1.86 ERA into his next start Wednesday, at home against the Reds. The Reds are hitting to a wOBA of .272, with a .214 BA and low .151 ISO against righties on the road.
Chase Anderson, RHSP, MIL (47% owned) @ SF SAT: Seemingly back to full strength, Anderson should have made it look easy against the Marlins last week. Instead he was one of my six not so good starts, giving up four runs on three HR. The good news is that he did not walk a batter and struck out six. This was the second start in his last three that he did not give up any walks. Over his last three starts, his K/BB is 15/1. This week he gets the San Francisco Giants in SF. The Giants are hitting to a wOBA of .246, with a .192 BA and horribly low .114 ISO against righties at home. All three of those stats are dead last in the MLB vs righties at home. Maybe he will capitalize on that this week in a Fantasy Must-Start.
***Sort of Two-Start Pitchers***Michael Wacha, RHSP, STL (47% owned) @ MIA MON & @ NYM SAT: Wacha struggled through nine starts before being shifted to the bullpen in late May, posting a 5.59 ERA, 1.69 WHIP and [43:29] K:BB over 46.2 innings. He could be in line for a two-start week, but you only want him for one of them. Wacha is being stretched back out after his pen stint so I’m not sure how many innings you will get. The Marlins are hitting to a .271 wOBA and .223 BA against righties at home with a league low .100 ISO. They have also been hitting well lately, but they are the Fish. The Mets, on the other hand, are hitting to a .333 wOBA at home vs righties. This is a potentially good pick up next week if you are really having trouble finding any starters on the wire. He had no trouble finding his girlfriend on the wire. Hopefully he’ll do as well for you next week.
***Sort of Two Start Pitcher***Cal Quantrill, RHSP, SD (24% owned IN FANTRAX) @ SF TUE & @ COL SUN: Over his last two starts, Quantrill has a quality start and a win, and has given up only five runs in eleven innings. He also has a K/BB of 16/2 and appears to be a lock to stay in the rotation now. The Giants are hitting to a .246 wOBA and .223 BA on the road vs lefties with a putrid .100 ISO. I don’t need to explain why he is a Must-Sit in Colorado, do I?
***Two Start Pitcher***Jason Vargas, LHSP, NYM (23% owned) @ NYY MON & Vs STL SUN: Here is what I said last week. “No, this is not a miss print. That is right, I’m recommending Jason Vargas as a spotter next week. He sneaks in about once a year. Have you noticed how well he has been pitching?” He pitched a five-hit shutout with eight Ks and one walk. He’s now given up one run or less in six of his last seven starts. You laughed at me last week, and I chuckled to myself while typing it, but look at what went down. Go ahead and laugh at me again. I have him in my article during a week in which he faces the New York Yankees in the Bronx. NY is hitting to a .288 wOBA and .235 BA vs lefties at home, with only a .147 ISO. Crazy, right? Then they also get to face the Cards in Queens. The Cards are hitting to a .300 wOBA and .220 BA on the road vs lefties. Are you brave enough?
Derek Norris, LHSP, DET (20% owned) @ KC WED: Last week I said “I may have to change the name of my article to Pick Your Norris starts, as I think he is my most frequent flyer this season.” Pre-season I did predict this would be the year he put it together and here he is again. Norris took another loss Thursday against the Rays, once again collecting almost no run support. Thursday against the Rays he only gave up three runs on six Ks and no walks. The 26-year-old lefty will carry a not so pretty 4.60 ERA, 1.45 WHIP and a nifty 45/16 K/BB into Wednesday’s start against the Royals. He is pitching well, but you still have to know which matchups to ride him into battle. The Royals are hitting to a horrendous .274 wOBA, .227 BA and only a .115 ISO against lefties at home. This is another one of those starts. He has walked one or fewer batters in eight of his last ten starts. How many starting pitchers can boast that? A few less HR and we have something here. I think he is way undervalued at 20% ownership.
FROM THE ABYSS – Starting Pitchers owned in less than 10% of leagues: With the slew of injuries to established starters, many un-drafted free agents are rostered now. That opened up the Abyss for some new players to look at, and there are plenty of good match-ups from under 10% owned pitchers to be had this week.
Adam Plutko, RHSP, CLE (8% owned) @ DET FRI: Like Plesac above, Plutko is another young Indians SP thrust into action because of injuries to Indians starters. While not as highly ranked a prospect as Plesac, Plutko (2-1) allowed two runs on three hits with four strikeouts and no walks across six innings to earn a victory against the Yankees yesterday. That got my attention. After a rough start to the season, Plutko went back to Triple-A until last Saturday. His overall numbers aren’t going to be great because it’s a small sample size with one horrendous outing, but Plutko has more than held his own in two of his three big-league starts in 2019. He is 2-1 with a 5.19 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and 11 strikeouts in 17.1 innings this season. The Tigers are hitting to a wOBA of .282, with a .235 BA and horribly low .122 ISO against righties at home. His wife Allison hopes he sticks in the majors. The food is way better.
Steven Brault, LHSP, PIT (7% owned) @ MIA FRI: Brault has looked pretty sharp in his past few appearances, compiling a 1.00 ERA and 8/5 K/BB in nine innings during those outings during which time he has shaved nearly two runs off of a very bloated ERA. As such, the left-hander will stick in the rotation for at least one more start, and as long as he holds his own, Brault could remain in the rotation until the Pirates get healthier. Brault is currently lined up to make his next start next week in Milwaukee. The Marlins are hitting to a near league low wOBA of .263, with a .234 BA and horribly low .104 ISO against Lefties at home.
Ryan Carpenter, LHSP, DET (3 % owned IN FANTRAX) Vs CLE SAT: The Indians are hitting to a .290 wOBA, .219 BA and .154 ISO vs lefties on the road. Last week I said “Roll him out Tuesday if you are desperate for a starter, but cut him lose or bench him for Sunday.” Today is Sunday, the Twins are extremely hot and Carpenter should not be in your lineup. Last week against the Rays, however, Carpenter (1-2) earned the win with two runs allowed on seven hits over seven innings. He struck out three and did not issue a walk. He was one of the six pitchers who tried to make me look good last week. Here is Carpenter doing his best Justin Verlander impression.
Gabriel Ynoa, RHSP, BAL (2% owned IN FANTRAX) Vs TOR THU: In his past two starts, Ynoa has a quality start and was one inning shy of another. His K/BB and HR/9 could come back to hurt him as he walks far too many, especially for a pitcher who throws it up in the zone. But, if you are in desperate need a start next week, I’d look to see if he is still there. The Jays are hitting to a wOBA of .282, with a .215 BA and .144 ISO against Righties on the road.
That’s it for this week. Picking Your Spots has gotten a little more fun now. Most of the decent pitchers who had slipped under the radar are owned now and owners will try to gobble up all the new call ups trying to get an edge. Add to that the plethora of injured starting pitchers and there you have it. But, as always, there are plenty of good spotters on the wire, including some new ones. We just have to find them. Hopefully this week’s edition will be helpful. See you next week, when we’ll pick some more spots for the season’s twelfth week. Even better still, may your injured players return healthy. As always, I’ll be on Reddit today talking spot starts. If you ask about a starter, please save me some time and let me know who he is pitching against and where. If you want to speak to me directly, my Twitter and Email are below. Thanks for reading.
Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio Show: Join host Brian Roach, Jr, and Cole Freel live on Sunday June 9th, 2019 from 8pm-9:30pm EST for episode #165 of Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio. We are a live broadcast that will take callers at 323-870-4395. Press 1 to speak with the host. You can listen live on blogtalk, majorleaguefantasysports.com, or download the podcast on I-Tunes or any Android podcast app. Tonight we will discuss the 2019 MLB draft along with our normal spot starters for the coming week, plus a weekend update, and look ahead to next week.
Our guest this week is Bryan Luhrs. Bryan is a writer with majorleaguefantasysports.com and is also the owner of Real Deal Dynasty Sports. He will be bringing some great analysis on the 2019 MLB draft tonight.